Concordia University School of Pharmacy

Concordia University School of Pharmacy not only prepares students to become pharmacists, it prepares them to serve mankind.

Location: Mequon, WI

Founded: 2008

Class Size: 100

Concordia University School of Pharmacy not only prepares students to become pharmacists, it prepares them to serve mankind.

A devotion to service is instilled early on; students get a taste for it even at orientation, where they are assigned to a community service group. Students may work with the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program, volunteer at the local humane society, or clean and weed state hiking trails. Each year since the school’s inception, students have also collected unused prescription medications through Drugs Take Back days. To date, they have collected more than 1000 lb of medications.

A faith-based university, Concordia’s School of Pharmacy teaches strategies for incorporating faith into treatment plans. Students also have nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social work programs available to them if they would like to enhance their 4-year educational experience.

“Having the other programs on campus means we can work directly with them and develop very effective interprofessional educational activities,” said Dean L. Arneson, PharmD, PhD, dean of Concordia’s School of Pharmacy, in an interview with Pharmacy Times.

Prospective students may also be interested in the school’s brand new facilities. The pharmacy building’s 3 large classrooms are designed for different teaching styles with breakout rooms so students can separate into smaller groups or participate in care-based educational activities, Dr. Arneson said. The building also boasts state-of-the-art compounding teaching labs and an advanced patient care lab. The American School & University awarded Concordia’s building the Architectural Portfolio Award for outstanding design in the post-secondary category.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: We have a highly integrated curriculum that builds upon itself and is learning focused. This means that the information is incorporated into courses from other courses taught previously or concurrently. The comprehension and application of the information is constantly being assessed in class and in our applied patient skills lab. We instill in the student the values of servant leadership and lifelong learning, which is patient focused.

Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?

A: We have a somewhat unique introductory experiential education opportunity for our students in that during their first 4 semesters, halfway through the semester, the students will spend a week in a hospital pharmacy and a week in a community pharmacy. This helps bring to life many of the things they are learning about in the classroom. When they come back from the 2 weeks, they can reflect and share their experiences with the faculty and their classmates. This format also allows for longitudinal introductory experience during their third year. An example of this is where a student would spend 1 day a week at a diabetes clinic following patients for the entire semester. With affiliations with more than 100 hospitals and 600 community pharmacies, our students have a wide variety of choices for their internships. In addition to the traditional hospital and community settings, our students can choose to participate in internships with professional organizations, government agencies, managed care, rural, and underserved areas.

A: Always keep an open mind to career opportunities; you never know where they will take you. Be curious and never stop learning. Strive to broaden your horizons; it keeps your mind sharp and your doors open to opportunities that may come along. Do what you love, and the money will follow. If you are not happy in what you are doing, no amount of money will make it worth it. You are not just dispensing medicine—you are helping people become healthier.